Its like a Maker Fair gone wild. A giant wood wind turbine takes up the south wall. A Gesture-Controlled Vehicle zooms around the floor between peoples legs. David Covillo explains how his team’s wireless Smart Sprinkler Head (which team member Andrew Decker 3-D printed) wastes far less water than conventional sprinklers. As opposed to just spraying everywhere in a circle, overlapping other sprinklers, or pointlessly spraying the sides of buildings, its range and path can be fine-tuned via Google Earth. Using a laptop and their user-interface, simply draw over a Google Earth view of your lawn; that data is transmitted to the sprinkler head.
A dozen other projects too large to fit inside are out on the lawn: an autonomous, auto-charging quadcopter is hovering (though tethered today for safety purposes.)
Quadcopter team-members Puneet Janda and Rudolph Hulse designed the MC charging station, which allows the drone to sense when its running low on power, automatically dock and recharge, then take off again.
Suzanne Rieseberg, senior Electrical Engineer, designed the GPS features. She explained the purpose of their HD camera equipped quadcopter is to replace expensive helicopters used to inspect rural power lines. Rieseberg formerly worked as a Navy aviation technician on H60 helicopters before coming to EWU to study engineering. She describes her experience at Eastern as overwhelmingly positive, and praised the professors. She has already secured a job at Garmin, and will start just two weeks after graduation.
The EWU Rocket Team conducted a test burn of a small rocket, and wisely advised the spectators to cover their ears (see video). In two weeks they will be returning with the EWU Rocket Team to Utah to compete at IREC for their second time. Last year they placed third out of over 30 teams, just behind MIT and Brazil. This year they are and beat the most prestigious engineering school in the US. The team has fabricated and test-fired a number of custom propellant motors, and have settled on five proprietary motors to launch their rocket above 20,000 feet, this would effectively double their altitude from 2015.
Other Senior Capstone team projects included 100% custom-built Li-Ion electric go-kart; an electric motorcycle; Smart Outlets; Automated Hydraulic Pressure Brake; Silica Dust Pressure Sensing System; a rocket launch tower; and a full scale support frame for a tear-drop style camper, among many others. It was an impressive display of the many talents of EWU’s Science and Engineering Majors.